If Taylor Fritz were like his friends back home in San Diego, he would be transitioning from high school to his first taste of independence, at college.But Fritz isnt like most teens just out of high school. Instead, he is busily carving out his career path.Closing in on the completion of his first full year on the ATP World Tour, the 19-year-old was labeled one of the tours Next Generation (#NextGen) stars. He finished 2016 by being named the ATP Star of Tomorrow, a distinction earned by being the youngest player ranked within the top 100. Hes ranked No. 70 but has already edged close to the top 50, with a career-high ranking of No. 53 in August.At the beginning of 2015, when he was primarily playing junior tennis, Fritz was ranked No. 1,141. By the end of that season, having played a few pro circuit events and won the Sacramento Challenger, Fritz started 2016 a respectable No. 177.Now that hes 11 months into his debut year, Fritz has put up some impressive results, including becoming the youngest ATP finalist since 2008, when, at age 18, he reached the Memphis Open championship in February. In all, he won 15 tour-level matches during the season, a statistic that includes quarterfinal finishes at Acapulco and Atlanta.Yeah, it came really fast, Fritz said last month in Shanghai. This time last year, I was just so happy to be participating in the main draw of a Challenger. I was like, Wow, this is such a big moment in my career. It feels like Ive been through so much, and it feels like its also gone so fast. A lots happened, and Ive learned a lot this year, for sure.Although some players in his current position might choose a guaranteed ranking position by keeping Challengers in their tournament mix, thats not Fritzs style. He prefers the tougher route, where he has to fight to earn -- and keep -- his place in ATP-level tournaments by playing qualifiers.I really didnt know what to expect just moving to all ATP tournaments, he said. I knew what to expect at Challengers. Losing in the first round more than two weeks in a row is something I never experienced ever. So it definitely was a hit on the confidence to keep going and not get discouraged. But I think Ive adapted now.I feel I could be where Im ranked now pretty safely. At least I hope so if I played a full Challenger schedule. But I want to be on the tour. The highest level of the game is where I want to be.Novak Djokovics had an opportunity to get to know Fritz through a few practice sessions. He understood why people were talking about the California kid with the big serve.Im not too surprised, Djokovic said. He very quickly got to top 100. On your way up to the top of the mens game, you have a couple of biggest transitions -- icebreakers, we call them. Hes been going in that direction, and I see that hes working hard. Hes committed. All good signs.Fritz had a late start to the international junior scene. His mom, former top-10 player Kathy May, held him back, preferring that tennis not be his entire focus. Eventually, however, Fritz won over his mom and he was allowed to home-school to facilitate playing more junior tournaments.In 2015, he won the US Open junior boys title, reached the Roland Garros junior final and earned the year-end No. 1 junior ranking. The season culminated with his being named the ITF Junior World champion.Blessed with matinee idol looks -- the perfect shock of wavy chestnut hair, the cleft chin and athletic build -- Fritz caught immediate attention. He already has represented the tour in photo shoots with Paris Match and Italian Vogue.Hes clearly comfortable in a marketing role, and the extracurricular activities havent distracted his focus from tennis. That makes him the perfect new-face-on-tour spokesman.Fritz is likely to catch the eye of a few young ladies, but theyll be disappointed to learn hes already found his perfect match in Raquel Pedraza. The two met years ago playing junior tennis. They married in July after getting engaged with the Eiffel Tower as the romantic backdrop on a rainy night during the French Open.Some might wonder why two 18-year-olds would commit so young. For Fritz, it was just the natural next step.I think it just gives me someone whos always been there for me, and someone who will continue to be there for me, for support and helping me with my career, he said. Shes someone who can always keep me focused. So I see nothing but good things coming from it.With his personal life all organized, Fritz can pay necessary attention to his career.He shows no fear for his upcoming sophomore season, the time when many players face complex adjustments. He likes challenges. And hes comfortable with suggestions he could be Americans next star.For me, Im able to deal with it because I dont care so much about whether or not Im disappointing people by not doing well, he said. I just care about living up to my expectations and not disappointing myself. Howie Long Womens Jersey . -- Ken Appleby made 32 saves for his first shutout of the season to lead the Oshawa Generals to a 2-0 win over the Belleville Bulls on Wednesday in Ontario Hockey League action. Fred Biletnikoff Raiders Jersey .C. at the helm of the top team in the Eastern Conference. His tenure as the GM in Vancouver was all too brief. Though he led the Canucks to what was then a franchise record-shattering campaign in just his second season, Nonis was gone and replaced one year later. http://www.footballraidersmall.com/Youth-Trayvon-Mullen-Elite-Jersey/ . And when it opened, every player was at his stall. Thats a sure sign that a team is in a slump and is searching for answers. "Its embarrassing to be at home and play the way we did," said defenceman Josh Gorges. Willie Brown Raiders Jersey . The visitors took a deserved lead in the 16th minute with midfielder Yohan Cabaye curling the ball beyond Adrian from inside the penalty area. Jim Otto Raiders Jersey . Bjorn, who had a 36-hole total of 8-under 134, made a testing six-foot putt to save par on the 16th and a birdie on the 17th before bogeying the final hole after a misjudged approach shot. American Kevin Streelman was in second place after shooting a 69. Stephen Gough, one of Australias most respected sports administrators, announced last week he would leave his job as MCC chief executive in early 2017, after 17 years in the job.The ever-popular Gough has seen it all while running the historic sports ground: AFL Grand Finals, NRL state-of-origin matches, Bledisloe Cup Tests, Commonwealth Games, Boxing Day Tests and World Cup cricket finals. Hes also closing in on 500 AFL matches watched.In light of all that, ESPN asked Gough to nominate his highlights, lowlights and most memorable moments from the past 17 years. Here, in spite of an obvious Carlton bias, are his answers to ESPNs questionnaire:Q: Most memorable MCG footy moment?After Carlton premierships, the 1999 Preliminary Final between Carlton and Essendon.Q: Most memorable non-footy moment?- Shane Warnes 700th wicket in 2006, and Australia winning that Ashes Test in three days with over 240,000 in attendance.- Commonwealth Games 2006 - Tsunami Cricket Match in January 2005 when over $15 million was raised.Q: Best AFL match ever seen at the MCG?(a) 1984 2nd Semi Final between Hawthorn and Essendon(b) The West Coast Eagles and Sydney grand finals in 2005, 2006.Q: Best player ever seen?Leaving aside Carltons Bruce Doull - Gary Ablett Snr.Q: Best AFL team seen?Leaving aside Carltons of 1979, 81 and 82 which, except for 1980, could have equalled Collingwood Football Clubs four in a row - Id say Brisbane of 2001/02/03.Q: Recent AFL rule change you most like?Restriction on interchange rotations - good to see star players being kept on the ground with different tactics being used by coaches.Q: Whats your proudest moment as CEO?Many come to mind, but being part of the Club (and Ground) for such a great period of activity, on and off the MCG.Q: Can you tell us a little-known fact about the ground that might surprise people?Approximately 120 metres of fence on the Southern Stand is the oldest remaining piece of infrastructure (1884) followed now by the light towers (1985).Q: Can the ground really hold 100,000?Yes. 100,024 seats plus standing room.Q: Whats the most interesting exhibit in the museum of sport?A peculiar one I like is the model of the revolving grandstand that was able to have it facing the cricket ground, then in winter swinging to face the outside to watch the early football matches from 1877 until its demise through fire in 1884. The Baer Collection (provided by the late Tony Baer) is some of our most delicate, curious and valuable pieces. Not to be missed.Q: How many AFL games have you watched in the past 17 years?I estimate it to be closing in on 500.Q: Most forgettable moment as CEO?Easy. The fiasco at the Members for the 2007 Preliminary Final between Collingwood and Geelong. We got our estimations and visitor tickets allocations wrong and locked out many people. A very traumatic night for all concerned, except the AFL who were delighted with a crowd of 98,000.Q: What else didnt we quite get right?We all (cricket and MCC personnel) didnt expect a crowd of 80,000+ for last seasons Big Bash League match (between Stars and Renegades) - hence massive delays with queues to buy a ticket and then to enter the G.Q: Recent AFL rule change you like least?- Countdown clock on scoreboard- Teams warming up on the ground well before the game starts. Understand the logic of this, however we lose that hugely anticipated moment when the teams enter the ground, especially on Grand Final Day.PATIENCE OF JOBE RUNNING OUTFormer Essendon captain Jobe Watson, currently working in New York as a barista while he serves out his WADA-enforced ban, is still rated only a 50-50 chance of returning to the club next year.We hear that Essendon executives recently returned from a trip to New York where they sounded out Watson about his plans for 2017.But the response they got was not exactly what they wanted to hear: Watson was enjoying life in the Big Apple - where he works at the Hole in the Wall café on West 38th and 5th Avenue - and wasnt sure whether he was ready to commit again to the demands of AFL football.Watson turns 32 next February.He and 33 other Essendon players were suspended until November 2016 when WADA in January successfully appealed against the AFL Tribunals not-guilty finding.This has imperilled Watsons 2012 Brownlow Medal, which was won while the supplements program was in full swing under Stephen Dank.If the clubs last-ditch appeal against the doping suspensions fails, and we wont have a ruling on that until later in the year, the AFL Commission will then have the unenviable task of deciding whether Watson keeps the medal.If they do indeed strip Watson of the award, we imagine the Bomber great might decide that New Yorks coffee scene is a more palatable place to be than Melbourne.MAJAKS SHARK TALESThis weekends AFL Multicultural Roound has inadvertently helped reveal one of the leagues great unsolved mysteries.ddddddddddddNorth Melbournes Sudanese excitement machine, Majak Daw, was photographed this week holding one of the special Multicultural Round match balls which have the word WELCOME printed on them in six different languages.But one eagle-eyed fan noticed something funny about the picture. What, he wanted to know, had happened to the top of Daws ring finger - it seemed to have disappeared.And a look at other action photos of the athletic big man revealed the same thing: the ruckman has 9.5 digits.A North Melbourne spokesman went in pursuit of the full story but came back empty-handed. After some digging, I believe the origin remains secret. He tells people a shark bit it off, said our man.BOUND BY PREMIERSHIP GLORYWest Coasts premiership-winning heroes are as a close as ever 10 years on from their one-point triumph over Sydney, contrary to reports of a fractious rift.Every member from the successful 2006 side - except champion Ben Cousins who is battling drug issues - reunited at a formal event in Perth ahead of last weeks clash Essendon at Domain Stadium.The celebrations spilt across three days, with players, coaches and staff reminiscing on the clubs third flag.Decorated ruckman Dean Cox, now an assistant coach at the Eagles, was quick to wrap up the post-match review on Friday night to catch up on the revelry.Some club officials believe it was fitting the match against the Bombers, now led by the Eagles 2006 premiership coach John Worsfold, coincided with the Grand Final celebrations.Some club officials squarely blame Essendon forward Scott Lucas for the Eagles failure to establish a dynasty, akin to Geelong and Hawthorn.In the final round of the 2007 season, the Bombers trailed the Eagles by 44 points at the last change.Lucas, clearly intent on honouring captain James Hird and legendary coach Kevin Sheedy in their last match at the club, piled on seven goals in a final-quarter blitz to get the Bombers within a goal.The Eagles eventually prevailed by eight points, but squandered a chance to gain much-needed percentage points.As a result, the Eagles slipped to third and were forced into a qualifying final against Port Adelaide away from their Subiaco fortress.They lost in a nail-biter by three points.The title defence ended the following week in a semi-final against Collingwood in extra time, without stars Chris Judd and Cousins, both out injured.Its a strongly-held belief that had a rampaging Lucas not got on a roll, the Eagles would have played - and beaten - Port in a home final, which would have granted the ailing team a much-needed week off ahead of a Perth preliminary.PAY DAY A MILE AWAYThe long-running pay stoush between the AFL and the AFLPA is at an impasse.The union representing more than 800 players is fighting to have a greater percentage of the leagues revenue, following its record-breaking $2.5 billion, six-year broadcast deal. (And more money could yet flow into the bulging pockets of the AFL, who are deep in negotiations over the renewal of the radio rights deal.)But ESPN understands the pay talks have come to a halt, with the parties failing to meet in almost two months.The players currently receive about 22 per cent of the industry revenue - four per cent less than the amount Cricket Australia pays its players.But as the indigenous code becomes more Americanised, a push for a much higher figure could be on the cards. Sportsmen from privately-owned US sports teams, for example, earn up to half of the monies generated from their code.For the first time in the AFLs history, the players are threatening to strike if an agreement cant be reached.A ROUGH DRAFT Club recruiters fear the AFL has been unable to find an appropriate venue for this years draft in Sydney.The AFL traditionally informs clubs where the November draft will take place well in advance of the event.But this year they are yet to alert teams as to where in the Harbour City it will take place.This has concerned representatives from a few clubs that the AFL might be scrambling to find a place to announce the names of the next batch of future stars.The AFL has persisted with touring the draft around the nation, despite almost half of the junior talent emerging from Victoria.The draft, first introduced in 1986, has predominantly been held in Melbourne.It ventured outside of Victoria in 1997 when it was hosted in Adelaide.In 2010, it headed north to the Gold Coast, the first year the Suns participated in the draft.Sydney previously hosted the event in 2011, a year ahead of GWS inaugural season.Last year, the Adelaide Convention Centre held the event. 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